ATLANTA — Members of The Packer news staff gathered the following news items on the show floor at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2011 from Oct. 14-17.
This season, Salinas, Calif.-based Church Bros. LLC introduced Euro Romaine lettuce and Tuscan Lettuce Mix, according to company marketing representative Katy Blowers.
Euro Romaine is a new variety with iceberg lettuce properties that’s “perfect for chopping” and can replace bread, taco shells or tortillas, according to material at the company’s Fresh Summit exhibit.
The Tuscan lettuce features a combination of small, whole heads of red and green leaf lettuces, as well as tangos, oaks, lolla rossas and sweet gems.
Clear Lam Packaging
Clear Lam Packaging introduced new fresh food packaging materials, including “Peel and ReSeal” tray-lid combinations, which feature easy opening and eliminate “rigid lids and shrink bands traditionally used to ensure tamper resistance and consumer safety,” according to a Clear Lam statement.
The product is “ideal” for fresh-cut vegetables, fruits and lettuce, the statement said.
Clear Lam, based in Elk Grove Village, Ill., also introduced its Fusion containers, which are designed to provide “enhanced cubing through a smooth square design,” the company said.
New Premium Round Deli containers for guacamole and dips are designed for uses “where extended freshness is required,” the company said.
Clifford Produce introduced half-pint clamshells of yellow tear drop tomatoes.
The packs will be available nationwide, said Mario Testani, sales manager for the Ruthven, Ontario-based greenhouse vegetable grower.
The tomatoes will be available year-round and are grown in Leamington, Ontario, and in Mexico in Jalisco and Colima, Testani said.
Salinas, Calif.-based Colorful Harvest’s new random weight bags of green beans are intended to replace bulk displays of loose green beans at retail and reduce waste, said Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing partner.
The bags ship 20-count to a box and are designed for placement on aisle endcaps, Ranno said.
Columbia Marketing International
Fred WilkinsonBrett Burdsal (left), regional director of marketing, and Bob Mast, vice president of marketing for Wenatchee, Wash.-based Columbia Marketing International Inc. show off the new dolly stand retail display for pears.Wenatchee, Wash.-based Columbia Marketing International Inc. has a new retail-ready display box for pears and apples.
The dolly stand’s graphics depict a hand truck and wooden crates, with a box of fruit on top.
CMI also introduced 2-pound bags of Petite Pick pears in all its varieties, said Bob Mast, vice president of marketing for the Wenatchee, Wash.-based marketer.
Also new are retail QR codes for Kiku, Kanzi and Ambrosia apples, he said.
Once scanned, the QR-coded retail display materials take consumers straight to a 35- to 40-second online informational video.
CMI’s point-of-purchase cards also are double-sided, one side with info for retailers and the other with consumer info such as recipes, he said.
Coosemans\Crystal Valley Foods
Crystal Valley Foods, Miami, a longtime supplier of Miami-based Coosemans Worldwide Inc., is introducing a packaged retail line.
Crystal Valley offers 8-ounce bags of asparagus tips, snow peas, sugar snap peas, shucked English peas, baby green zucchini, baby carrots and French beans. The French beans also come in 16-ounce bags, and Crystal Valley offers 5-pound foodservice bags of snipped and unsnipped green beans.
Rick Durkin, Crystal Valley’s director of business development, said the company recently installed a green bean packing line for bulk and packaged Guatemalan snipped green beans.
The company decided to increase repacking after Florida winter freezes cut supplies, Durkin said.
Originally focusing the bags on the winter window, Crystal Valley began packing cut beans throughout the year because of customer requests, Durkin said.
Crystal Valley also recently purchased a farm in Peru, he said.
Cashmere, Wash.-based Crunch Pak LLC added two products to its line of Foodles snack packs for kids, and its DipperZ low-calorie single-serve snacks received a lot of attention on the exhibition floor.
“We’ve had very good reception in the first hour,” Tony Freytag, senior vice president of sales and marketing, said of the DipperZ.
He said the product also was voted a No. 1 item at the National Association of Convenience Stores’ expo in early October.
The new Foodles feature carrots, cheese and pretzels and apples, granola and yogurt. The packaging features classic Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
Freytag said the new packs would be available around mid-November.
Curry & Co.
Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore., is introducing Vidalia sweet carrots.
Curry plans to release the carrots, which come in 1-, 2-, 3- and 5-pound cello packs and 50-pound bulk cartons of washed carrots, in early December from its Ellerbee, N.C., growing region.
It also plans to begin production from Statesboro, Ga., in mid-January, said Dave Hicks, chief operating officer.
Hicks said the carrots aren’t as large as cooking carrots.
The vegetable’s longer and skinnier shape make it a different and sweeter carrot, he said.
“A lot of buyers see flat onions as sweet. Our long and skinny carrots are not short and fat and make for a better-eating carrot,” he said.
Dave’s Specialty Imports
Dave’s Specialty Imports Inc., Coral Springs, Fla., has given its logo a makeover.
Mike Bowe, vice president, said the Miami-area blueberry importer wanted to give customers a better idea of the 19-year-old company’s mission through a redesigned logo.
“We are looking to grow the company and have new blood in this company, which my dad started,” Bowe said. “This logo is something that unifies us and is more recognizable with our name on the label.”
The logo displays an image of the sun rising above the company’s name over blueberries.
Founded by Dave Bowe, Dave’s Specialty Imports is a year-round berry importer. It imports blueberries, blackberries and raspberries and plans to enter the growing side of the business via acreage in New Jersey.
Dave’s Specialty Imports also launched a new website, www.mydaves.com.
Del Campo Supreme
Del Campo Supreme, Nogales, Ariz., has a new promotion at all Loblaw stores across Canada in February, said general manager/sales manager Jim Cathey.
He said the program is called “Flavour with a cause” and features the company’s red grape tomatoes packed in pink breast cancer awareness clamshells and yellow grape tomatoes packed in prostate research awareness clamshells.
Proceeds will go toward cancer awareness charities in Canada, Cathey said.
Del Campo also added a salesman in its Philadelphia office, Liam Slavin, who started in May.
Del Rey Avocado
The Fallbrook, Calif.-based grower and distributor recently named Donny Lucy, son of company leader Bob Lucy, to a sales position.
Del Rey also began shipping Peruvian avocados this season.
Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash., promoted its new proprietary cherry variety, the Orondo Ruby cherry.
Marketing and communications manager Loren Queen said the variety is a unique variety, not a cross, and has 20% more sugars and acids than a rainier, despite its similar appearance,
Queen said the variety should be available mid-June to mid-July, and while Domex Superfresh shipped about 8,000 boxes this summer, he expects volume to grow to 125,000 boxes in the next few seasons.
The company also displayed its new proprietary apple variety, Autumn Glory.
Queen said the variety is a cross between fuji and golden delicious, meaning it is firm, crisp, sweet and has a slight spice.
The company plans to ship about 3,000 cartons this season but grow the variety to more than 1 million cartons, he said.
Kingsville, Ontario-based Double Diamond Acres added several tomatoes to its lineup.
The company now has roma, orange grape, cherry berry and heirloom tomatoes, salesman Paul Sabelli said.
The company designed a new display box for its heirloom varieties, available next season. The 10-pound box is designed to give the heirloom tomatoes a high-graphic, designated spot in the produce department.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods
Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. is releasing smaller-sized celery sticks.
The fresh division of Oviedo, Fla.-based A. Duda & Sons Inc. made 8-inch celery sticks by cutting the tops and bottoms and removing the celery’s inner heart.
“Retailers can look at something like this and have a nice attractive price relative to the two sticks of celery,” said Rick Alcocer, Duda’s senior vice president of fresh sales.
“For consumers, the celery also takes up less room inside their refrigerators.”
The celery comes in 12-count, 1.25-pound bags.
Duda cleans and washes the celery from its Oxnard, Calif., fresh-cut celery processing plant